I Mean

[Content Note: Street harassment; rape culture; racism.]

Yesterday, the New York Post published (DoNotLink) a gross piece of linkbait in which Doree Lewak, a thin white woman, shares how thrilling she finds it to be catcalled by male construction workers, and admonishes other women that they should be "flattered" by street harassment, too.

But only the good kind, obviously: "Of course, not all catcalls are created equal. The good ones are innocuous, not crass or obscene. To clarify, a compliment is 'You're beautiful,' and not 'I like your nipples,' a crude comment beyond the point of no return."

Look, I don't care if some other woman gets a rush out being catcalled by construction workers who use very specific language of which she personally approves. Whatever greases your wheel.

But this is a piece that lectures other women to stop being so fussy and prudish about being "complimented" by strangers shouting at you about your appearance, and tells men they're doing women a service.

And there's some real classist garbage embedded in her flirting fairytale, too:
But the mystique and machismo of manly construction workers have always made my heart beat a little faster — and made my sashay a little saucier. It's as primal as it gets, ladies! They either grunt in recognition or they go back to their coffee break. It's not brain science — when a total stranger notices you, it's validating.

Oh, don't go rolling those sanctimonious eyes at me, young women of Vassar: I may court catcalls, but I hold my head high. Enjoying male attention doesn't make you a traitor to your gender.
The juxtaposition of manly, grunting blue collar workers and girly, pearl-clutching Vassar grads. Good fucking grief.

Lewak says she's happy to be objectified by these guys as some sort of gift to them, but it looks like she's doing quite a bit of objectifying herself. Even before you get to the photo of her posing coyly with a black construction worker.

I don't think Lewak's a traitor to her gender, but I do think she's kind of an asshole. And not because she "enjoys male attention," but because she's peddling shit so old it farts the tune of Greensleeves about harassment being a compliment and about white women treating men of color like their purpose is to dispense flattery.

I would say that the New York Post should be ashamed of itself, but they have no shame.

I'm pretty sure that's right in their masthead.

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